Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation, a premier nationwide provider of metal panels for the building and construction industry, created a stunning metal envelope for Arizona State University’s distinguished Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix, AZ.
The 223,000 square foot, six-story, multi-level facility is home to offices, retail space, restaurants, 17 media-equipped classrooms, seven computer labs, and seven professional newsrooms. The building also houses one of the country’s largest PBS stations, KAET Channel Eight. Its state-of-the-art technology and smartly designed space are unparalleled in journalism education, and the Metal Sales-supplied façade does its part to create a stand-out impression on the school’s campus.
Metal Sales’ T23 panels feature a 3” vertical rib, giving the envelope an eye-catching texture in a tri-color pattern of Colonial Red, Terra Cotta and Copper Penny, modeled from the campus’ desert surroundings. The panels are situated to reflect the FCC’s Radio Frequency Spectrum Allocation chart, which plots nationwide wireless communication allotment for outlets like cell phones, Wifi, broadcast TV/Radio, etc. – thus appropriately emulating the facility’s purpose. This form-meets-function approach is further achieved by a section of the building that is clad in horizontally ribbed Metal Sales T13-A panels in Metallic Silver, and supports a row of satellite dishes.
“This world-class structure truly shows off the versatility of our panels,” said Steve Letnich, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Metal Sales. “When inspired design meets high quality, visually captivating products, the result is an outstanding architectural presentation, like that of the Walter Cronkite building.”
The facility has been awarded the prestigious 2010 International Architecture Award by the Chicago Anthenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design in conjunction with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. It was one of only three buildings/urban planning projects from the United States to earn this venerable distinction.
One notable design element is its three-story core known as “The First Amendment Forum,” a multi-tiered common area at the building’s center. This space celebrates the connectivity of communication, thus yielding functional form in the interior as well.
From the outside, the commanding metal façade harmonizes with its urban Phoenix environment. Metal was chosen for this impressive LEED Silver-Certified building both for its sustainable recycled content, and for its capacity to be applied quickly, efficiently and economically.
Metal is a very popular choice for projects of this nature, owing to its long-lasting durability and inherently eco-friendly composition. Metal Sales offers supreme panel products that hold up well in the extreme Arizona heat. And with a 45 year paint warranty, they are guaranteed to maintain their visual appeal even after decades of wear. Additionally, with all Metal Sales standard colors ENERGY STAR® listed, their highly reflective nature may actually help a facility to lower its cooling costs.
"Metal Sales is our go-to company for metal panels," said Mathew Chaney, AIA Associate at Ehrlich Architects, and lead architect for the project. "We know they carry high quality products, and their comprehensive website provides all of the information needed to make decisions quickly and easily."
Metal Sales’ website, www.metalsales.us.com features useful tools like the “Architect’s Corner,” which allows site visitors to see Metal Sales panels, colors, specs and AutoCAD details quickly and all in one location. Ehrlich has utilized this functionality in working with Metal Sales in the past, and has already specified Metal Sales for future projects. Ehrlich is working with Metal Sales on another Arizona State University facility – a new home for its renowned School of Earth and Space Exploration.
As for the Walter Cronkite building, "the project team, facility owners, and end-users are ecstatic with the finished results,” continued Chaney. “This building really exceeds expectations, and we are excited to work with ASU on future projects to help them achieve an even more beautiful and sustainable campus."
Construction on the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication was completed in fall 2008. The project team consisted of Ehrlich Architects, Culver City, AZ, builder SUNDT Construction, Tempe, AZ, and installer Gen3 AZ, LLC, Tempe, AZ.